Take a look at this quote from an article about Adrian Chiles (UK television presenter) and his problematic relationship with drink.
Chiles nods sadly when McKeown (a psychotherapist who specialises in addiction) starts to suggest alcohol changes the way he feels about himself. “If we don’t like ourselves, what do we do to be likable?” Or, as someone at the group Chiles goes to for people with alcohol issues puts it: “Does Adrian love Adrian?” “No, no, God no,” he says. Someone else tells him he is likable – and, open and self-aware, he is.
I wonder how many of us were using alcohol to make us feel different about ourselves. Not one person I have met who has had a problematic relationship with alcohol has liked themselves very much. Yet, the people around them can testify to all sorts of positive qualities and strengths that make them lovable.
If you know that you’re using alcohol to help you feel better about yourself in some way, doesn’t it make sense to build a healthier, more loving relationship with you so that you negate the need to reach for alcohol in the first place?
Being kind to yourself, learning to love yourself more and learning how to shift some unhelpful beliefs about yourself are all powerful steps to take when you want to change an unhealthy drinking habit.
When you remove the root cause of why you drink, you remove your drive to drink and this makes it so much easier to stay successfully and happily sober. Imagine how differently you experience life when you meet up with friends or family (whether they’re drinking or not) and you simply look forward to the company and conversation because you’re happy being you and you’re happy to share yourself as you are with the rest of the world. Trying to feel different or change yourself doesn’t enter your thoughts because you don’t have a need to. Imagine how differently you experience life when you’re feeling confident with who you are and how you’re being and you’re not worrying about what other people might be thinking about you.
Maybe you’ve noticed how this is already.
Continuing to use the steps and activities in the Go Get Sober Programme even when you’re feeling more confident about staying sober is really important. It’s through continuing to work with the tools that we give you that you strengthen your relationship with yourself and build it to the point that you can sail through any situation sober because you’re happy with who and how you are. You become much more likely to stay happily sober even in potentially challenging or tough times.
When I first stopped drinking, if someone had asked me, “Does Jo love Jo?” I would have answered with a resounding "no". On a scale of 1-6, I would have scored my self-love at about a 2. If you asked me now, I would score myself on a 5 (I’m progressing towards the 6!)
How would you answer the same question? What do you see when you look in the mirror? How would you score your self-love on a scale of 1-6? If it’s low, make an action plan today on what needs to happen for you to move one number up on that scale and, if you want to, share it with us in the Forum.